Subjects Archives: Agriculture

  • An occupation Camp in Filhos da Luta, Pernambuco in 2014. (Photo by Mel Gurr)

    Land (in) justice in Brazil

    The implementation of austerity measures in the Brazilian countryside, then, casts a long shadow on the potential of farming and land reform to provide the next generation with a sustainable future. It threatens decades of progress made by land justice warriors.

  • A villager lifts up fallen corn plants after a flood at a farm in Jianhe county, Guizhou province, China in July 2017. Photograph: Reuters

    Maize, rice, wheat: alarm at rising climate risk to vital crops

    No one likes to think about how extreme weather events could devastate food production which could cause global panic and disaster. However, scientists, led by Chris Kent, of the Met Office, focused their initial efforts on how extreme weather would affect maize, one of the world’s most widely grown crops. Along with maize other staple crops could be affected including those of rice, wheat and soya beans.

  • May chce twardego Brexitu. Trump nie chce silnego dolara

    The Election of Donald Trump

    1. The recent election of Donald Trump after Brexit, the rise of fascist votes in Europe, but also and much better, the electoral victory of SYRIZA and the rise of Podemos are all manifestations of the depth of the crisis of the system of globalized neoliberalism. This system, which I have always considered unsustainable, is imploding before our eyes at its very heart. All attempts to save the system — to avoid the worst — by minor adjustments are doomed to failure.

  • Fidel Castro — Beyond Words

    We lost Fidel.  We gained a history of examples and wisdom. The story of Fidel is beyond words — we cannot describe it with words alone.  So I would like to just give a testimony. He used all his wisdom, knowledge, leadership, and dedication to build, over 60 years, a united and organized people, who […]

  • Brexit and the EU Implosion: National Sovereignty — For What Purpose?

    The defense of national sovereignty, like its critique, leads to serious misunderstandings once one detaches it from the social class content of the strategy in which it is embedded.  The leading social bloc in capitalist societies always conceives sovereignty as a necessary instrument for the promotion of its own interests based on both capitalist exploitation […]

  • Are Sanders and Fair Trade a Threat to the Global Poor?

    On April 24, 2013, some 1,134 people died in the collapse of the Rana Plaza complex outside Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.  The building housed factories where low-wage workers, largely women, stitched garments for the U.S. and European markets. For several years before the disaster a number of U.S. opinion makers — notably New York […]

  • Germany: Icy Times and Rays of Hope

      2016 began here with an icy chill, not only with the weather but far worse, with human relations.  It also offered some, like myself, at least a few warm rays of hope. First the larger scene.  The huge influx of immigrants and asylum seekers, over a million in 2015, saw Germany effectively split in […]

  • Marxism, Ecological Civilization, and China

    China’s leadership has called in recent years for the creation of a new “ecological civilization.”  Some have viewed this as a departure from Marxism and a concession to Western-style “ecological modernization.”  However, embedded in classical Marxism, as represented by the work of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, was a powerful ecological critique.  Marx explicitly defined […]

  • It’s Capitalism, Stupid!

    Global capitalism is the 800-pound gorilla.  The twin ecological and economic crises, militarism, the rise of the surveillance state, and a dysfunctional political system can all be traced to its normal operations. We need a transformative politics from below that can challenge the fundamentals of capitalism instead of today’s politics that is content to treat […]

  • Richard Levins and Dialectical Thinking

    For Richard Levins’s 85th birthday and his career as a scientist for the people. Richard Levins conveys the essence of dialectical thinking through the many examples he offers of its application, in every imaginable domain. Someone earlier than Dick — perhaps it was Hegel — remarked that, in contrast to formal logic, which is static, […]

  • PEGIDA, SYRIZA, and the Future of Europe

    Recent events here in Germany remind me of a playground seesaw, with constant ups and downs of one side and the other. All autumn we watched the upward swing of PEGIDA, “Patriotic Europeans Against Islamization of the West,” most rapidly but not only in Saxony’s capital Dresden.  Its main features were a fast-talking, shady leader […]

  • The Spectre of Social Counter-Revolution

    5th Dr. BR Ambedkar Memorial Lecture, Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, New Delhi, September 27, 2014 I I would like to use this occasion to dwell upon a point to which Dr Ambedkar had drawn attention in his closing speech to the Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1949.  In that speech he had underscored a […]

  • The Problem Is Capitalism

    NYC Climate Convergence, September 20, 2014 A. The Environmental Crisis The “environmental crisis” is actually a number of crises, including the following: climate change; acidification of the oceans (related to elevated atmospheric CO2 levels); pollution of air, water, soil, and organisms with harmful substances; degradation of agricultural soils; destruction of wetlands and tropical forests; and […]

  • In Shared Sorrow: Remembering ‘Comrade’ Nirmal da

    This tribute to one of India’s finest radical economists first appeared in Analytical Monthly Review, May 2014.  AMR, published from Kharagpur, West Bengal, India, is a sister edition of Monthly Review. Nirmal Kumar Chandra (1936-2014), referred to by his dear friend, Ashok Mitra, in The Telegraph (April 4, 2014) as “The Compleat Economist”, was in […]

  • The Desperate Choices Behind Child Migration

    As someone who just returned from living and working in El Salvador, I’m still having a hard time adjusting to our mainstream media’s never-ending wave of know-nothing commentary on the subject of immigration.  A case in point is the column penned by New York Times columnist Ross Douthat on Sunday, June 22nd.  Douthat expresses alarm […]

  • Fall Delegation to Bolivia: Presidential Election, Food Sovereignty, and Indigenous Resistance!

    Bolivia is the first country in the hemisphere to be governed by an indigenous president. Learn about indigenous struggles for sovereignty over food, land, and water. Meet with farmers, community leaders, government leaders, and others. Experience the rich culture of the Andes and soak in the sights, sounds, people, and politics in this historic moment […]

  • Gujarat 2002, India 2014: ‘Numbers Sanctify’

    “Numbers sanctify”.  The context is very different, but I couldn’t keep my mind off that quote from Charlie Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux.  After all, the alleged mastermind of the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat will soon be sworn in as India’s prime minister, at the head of a government in which his party, the BJP, will […]

  • Suniti Kumar Ghosh, 1918-2014

    Suniti Kumar Ghosh died on May 11, at the age of 96.  It is not a passing to be mourned but a life, rich and meaningful, to be celebrated. On the face of it, his life had two major phases: the first was one of direct political activity; the second was of research and writing. […]

  • Colombia: Popular Agrarian Summit Calls for Strike

    A national strike in Colombia — involving groups of indigenous peoples, Afro-Colombians, students, women, small miners, petroleum workers, and campesinos (farmers) — may begin on May 1st. The decision to strike if the government does not respond by the first week of May was made during the Peasant, Ethnic, and Popular Agrarian Summit,1 held from […]

  • Venezuela: Making Peace . . . With Capitalism?

    It was shortly after Moses’s encounter with the Burning Bush that God promised to take the people of Israel to the land of milk and honey.  God, who could be extremely cryptic in his explanations (“I am that I am”), did not beat around the bush when it came to capturing his audience.  For that […]